Saturday, June 28, 2014

My compleat hair colour angst. As the six or seven regular readers of this blog may realise, it has been four years since I dyed my hair red for a costume party and then just kept on being a redhead. My mother continues to be miffed that I am rejecting my 'natural' hair colour, but as I have always wanted to be a redhead, I feel more myself this way.

I'm always pleased whenever strangers or acquaintances assume this is my 'real' hair (of course any hair that grows from one's head is 'real'), and am chagrined whenever I have to admit that I have to use dye to maintain this colour.

But this year, I think it's been part of my malaise that I have been fretting that my hair colour has grown faded and dull. I have done a lot of thinking about different shades of red, including the creation of my Celebrity Ranga Swatch Chart. Christina Hendricks continues to be my guiding light.

Maybe now is a good time – and this personal blog the ideal space – to look back in narcissistic detail at the evolution of my hair colour since May 2010.

30 May 2010 – uneven pinkish shade achieved using LiveColour Red Embers

5 December 2010, looking like Chopper Read

13 February 2011, about to go to a Yacht Rock-themed event

27 May 2011, super unimpressed by the stupid brown colour Stanley's colourist dyed my hair. Brown ≠ red!

28 May 2011, after getting my hair redyed. The original colourist was so angry she refused to look at or speak to me; another person did the dyeing.

11 June 2011 – toilets selfie at Anusha's wedding

4 July 2011 – I used this pic as a work headshot for a while

7 July 2011, seriose hipster

18 July 2011 – ruh-oh, regrowth! I used LiveColour in Aztec Copper to cover it up, with limited success

19 October 2011 – I used this as a headshot for a while, too

18 December 2011 (note the Christmas outfit) – getting seriously faded and regrowthy by now. I think this is when I started to use Cinta Colour Highlight Shampoo in Auburn. You just use it like a regular shampoo (I tend to wash my hair every three days) and leave it in for a couple of minutes before rinsing. It has henna in it and the colour builds up gradually and permanently.

2 March 2012: I'd just had a haircut but didn't dye it – this is achieved solely through colour shampoo. I honestly think this is the nicest hair colour I have ever achieved.

10 October 2012, stupid face, still nice hair colour

2 February 2013, in Savers: "LOL look at me, I'm Julia Gillard!"

16 June 2013, wearing my Red Gestalt Lipstick

1 November 2013, in my Dead Lady's Cardigan. (Here's a secret: sometimes when I feel sad and desperate I put on the cardigan and imagine that its former owner, Hedi, is my spirit guide)

30 November 2013: Here's where I think the sad fading begins to be obvious. In November I went away to Mallacoota for a week and didn't take my colour shampoo.

3 March 2014, after I tried to do Amy Adams-esque American Hustle hair for Oscar night

12 April 2014 – tragic grunge hair

30 April 2014 – pitiful! Looks like my frickin' natural hair colour

1 June 2014 – a collage I made when I started to seriously fret about my terrible faded hair. The bottom left pic was taken on 15 August 2013, when my hair was last cut.

10 June 2014, after most recent haircut. But hair colour still no less blah and faded

28 June 2014, windswept. This week I decided to leave the colour shampoo in for 10 mins rather than the usual 2-3 mins, and maybe it will take a few washes to see the effect of that. But if not, I now have the option of freshening up my hair colour using one or more of the following products:

Top left is some hair dye I got in a showbag at last year's L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (Virgin Australia is now the name sponsor). It's too fake-looking and pinkish for my taste, and a Google Image Search suggests it produces something like Rihanna's red hair period, or that deliberately fake-looking hair that rockabilly chicks seem to like.

My colour shampoo is in the centre, with good old LiveColour Aztec Copper on the top right. That's probably my next option, as it's just a subtle rinse.

The bottom two are permanent dyes I bought but then chickened out of actually applying because I was worried what they would do to my hair. I think the Essential Colour would produce a colour more like my 2011 redye job, whereas the Excellence Creme would produce a paler but hopefully brighter colour.

Also, the other day I was in the supermarket and noticed that L'Oréal's Féria brand has a range of bright reds which includes "Mango Intense Copper".

Going by Google Images, it gives you a colour that looks obviously fake, but is still within the general spectrum of natural reds. You look like Tori Amos or Shirley Manson.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Makeup, in sickness and in health. I am currently in the throes of a Melcold, which is just like a regular cold except it is the most dreadful, debilitating thing imaginable because it is happening specifically to me. In actual cold terms it is not that bad, I guess.

Anyway, I am not wearing any makeup today, but I am wearing lipstick. (Well, I just took it off with a tissue.) I've always marvelled at how you can wear no makeup except lipstick and still look 'made up', which is why I use lipstick as a pick-me-up when I am feeling rubbish and blah, and I always have heaps of them kicking around in the bottom of my bag.

As you know by now, I have a terrible, ham-like complexion. These days I have largely abandoned Hulk Primer for the Rimmel BB cream, which provides the coverage of a foundation plus SPF25. You need to blend it in quite well otherwise it can look streaky, but that is the price you pay for such excellent coverage. You can even layer it up over pimples etc and it works as a concealer.

Mere tinted moisturisers seem kind of hopeless to me now. But since a while ago I bought several bottles of Hamilton Everyday Face, which is SPF30+, and I tend to wear that in summer purely because of the sunscreen. One tube lives in my toiletry bag, which I only ever use when I'm travelling.

However, its major failing is that it is totally rubbish in terms of making my face look less hammy. Every time I go away with friends I think, "You don't need to bring any makeup or jewellery – this is a relaxed holiday and you don't need to impress your friends!" But then every single time I end up applying the Hamilton and feeling sad that my face looks just as hammy afterwards, and wishing I'd brought my BB cream instead.

Yesterday I was feeling ratshit, having probably brought my cold on by pulling an all-nighter after having just arrived home from a weekend away with a group that included two people with colds. Because I'd worked all night to meet my deadline, and then had to hustle straight out the door to make a 9:30am screening, my face looked even more awful than usual.

I had a long-awaited, much-needed haircut at 2pm but I couldn't stand the idea of having to look at my makeup-free face with wet hair plastered back under the bright salon lights. So I had about half an hour to kill beforehand, and I decided to spend it in Priceline applying makeup.

On the right side of my face I applied Nude by Nature BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream. I've always avoided it because it has no sunscreen, but in terms of coverage it was not bad. I also tried Models Prefer CC Unbelievable Colour Correcting Cream on the worst bit of my cheek, which was okay but did not have the dramatic eraser effect I expected from something promising to colour-correct.

Then I went to the Rimmel concern and noticed they have a new matte formulation of my favourite BB cream, which I applied to the left side of my face. It didn't seem noticeably less shiny than the one I use, but since my skin goes greasy and shiny at the drop of a hat I might try it in future.

Because of my shininess problem I looked around for a powder to fix my makeup. The problem at Priceline is you can try the powders but they don't provide any brushes or puffs so you can't apply them properly. So I looked around for a product that had a brush in the packaging and saw the L'Oréal True Match mineral foundation.

Technically I suppose I was adding more foundation rather than just a light veil of powder, but I used the L'Oréal on my neck as well. It was so lovely to see the redness completely gone and a smooth mask of makeup there instead. However, this was much more makeup than I ever usually wear, and to me it looked really unnatural.

So I realised I had to add blusher! I never normally wear rouge because why add extra pinkness to my already hammy cheeks, but back I went to the Nude by Nature concern and got their Virgin Blush, which I applied to the apples of my cheeks using my fingers and blended it in. It actually looked good! I looked pretty and healthy.

Then I realised I should make my lips look pink and healthy too. So I put on some Nude by Nature lip gloss, and then with my finger I got some Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in shade 22 (a bright red) and dabbed it onto my lips with my finger, mixing it with the lip gloss to create a natural-looking reddish-pink colour.

Oh, and then I applied some beige eyeshadow by Nude by Nature to my eyelids and my haircut makeup was done! Here is what it looked like after being dripped on with water from the haircut.

So that was me using makeup to pretend to be healthy. But on the tram on the way home tonight I remembered that I used to craftily apply makeup when I was trying to convince my parents, work or school that I was sick (usually for the purpose of chucking a sickie).

I would use talcum powder to make my face look pale, and then I would accentuate the natural bags under my eyes using a combination of violet, grey and green eyeshadow. I would rim my eyes and nostrils in red lipstick and blend it in to suggest lots of coughing. But my real trick was to cover my lips in foundation. I have pale lips anyway, but this made them look deathly.

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